Home Style Series with Nolan: Historic Homes

A look at popular home styles and why we love them

Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to explore different home styles, their pros, cons, and what makes them attractive in this real estate market.

There are many different types of home styles. Contemporary, Victorian, Urban, Georgian, Classic. Really, if it’s a trend, it can be related to homes!

One of the popular trends today is having a historic home. We are seeing that people want the charm of an old home, from the crown molding, to the flooring, and everything in between. But there is a certain sector of the home market that wants to have an actual old home. One built in the early 20th century or even earlier.

The pro of these homes is their character. You can't beat the charm, quality, wood workings, etc. of a historic home. They are truly one of a kind, no cookie-cutter looks here. In Northeast Ohio there are several historic homes.

With all of the aesthetic pros of a historic home, there are some cons associated with it as well.

The thick hardwood floors with the rich patina of age are an amazing feature. The crown molding and detail work of older homes are extremely well done. But they are extremely hard to be replicated or replaced. Even if you can find a woodworker to replicate some of these features, it will never be exactly the same, and it doesn't come cheap.

Over time, the insulation, seals, and other components of the home that keep it air-tight start to deteriorate. These are issues that could be costly to fix. Depending on how well the home has been maintained these issues could be minor.

When a home is registered historic with a state, there are certain guidelines those homeowners must follow. For example, let's say that you wanted to paint the exterior of your home. You would have to have the color approved by the state in some cases.

Do you own a vintage, century or registered historic home? Share your experiences with these gems!

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Zzoott Zzooticus January 31, 2012 at 04:27 PM
There are those of us who consider ourselves only stewards of our homes, helping them through our lifetimes to make it to the next generation. Ours started as an 1830's single-room post-and-beam Western Reserve clapboard schoolhouse that survived an 1870's move a mile down the road as a dutch-lap farmstead, was revived by a 1934 recycling into a quaint two-story redwood-sided bungalow, suffered through the humiliation of the 1970's earthtones, orange counters, vinyl coverings and shag carpeting revolution, and re-emerged in the 2000's with polished floors, a standing-seam copper roofed wrap-around porch, cleaned and painted trim and siding, and a new lease on life.
Brandon Scullion February 01, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Here is my experience - http://lakewood-oh.patch.com/blog_posts/the-tale-of-a-foreclosed-property-renovation-in-lakewood I only wish I had more historic photographs. I'm certain they exist so I will continue to search for them.
Bryan Rinnert February 02, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Is there a good way to find information about a historic house? I own a victorian in Kent built in 1875. I would love to know the original layout or even blue prints from the house. It's been through some abuse from past owners and I'm doing my best to bring it back originally as possibly.
Brandon Scullion February 02, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Bryan, I would first check to see if you have a local Historical Society. Next, I would check with the university and see if their history dept. has some sort of special collections dept. like we have here at Cleveland State. After that you may want to check with the city planning department as they may have original photos, plans and other documents associated with your property. Finally, a local public library or perhaps county archives may have some info as well. Good luck.
Denise Walsh Brown March 03, 2012 at 09:28 PM
I have worked with historic homes since the late 1970's and can vouch for their beauty and uniqueness. A home outside of Massillon, a solid brick Federalist built in the 1830s, had the remnants of the stream that served to feed the original well in the basement. Each home is a page in history. Consequently, I would strongly recommend contacting local preservation and history groups to see if they have already obtained research on the home in question. The Canton Preservation is one of the best around providing information and help.


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